Author Topic: Introverts with kids  (Read 969 times)

Lago

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Introverts with kids
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:01:00 PM »
I am an introvert, but now that I have 2 kids, I find that I am never able to get alone time. I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband works from home, which was an amazing scenario when we just had one baby that napped, but now we have a 4 year old that doesn't nap and a 1 year old that is super attention needy. My husband works from home, but he takes breaks and reads the news and just chills in his quiet office. I feel like I never get a break and I almost want to go back to work just for a quiet 1 hour lunch break in my car. Any tips on how to keep my sanity? The kids already go to a half-day mother's day out program 2 days of the week, but it never seems long enough. I really love my kids and I love teaching my older one, but I get worn out when I'm around them all day.

Zamboni

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 05:04:48 PM »
How early do they go to bed?

We had a 7pm bedtime and it was a life saver. I would even tell them: you don't have to go right to sleep, you can play quietly in your rooms, but you can't bother the adults. We had a gate in the hallway so that the kids could get to each other's rooms but not to the rest of the house.

If they try to get you to come sooth them or play with them, just stay patient but firm. No, it's time for bed. If you decide to stay up and play, you have to stay quiet.


PharmaStache

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 05:22:56 PM »
I hear ya.  One of my kids is a super extrovert who just sucks the energy right out of me.  The other is more neutral.  They are 5 and 1 so similar to you.  I go to work though- it's so relaxing there (not joking). 

The 4 year old should be at an age where you can try to replace the nap with "quiet time in your bedroom".  I was never successful with that but others have been.  Preschool?  Nothing wrong with an hour of tv a day. 


Laura33

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 07:35:42 PM »
Oh, my.  I feel for you.  BTDT.  And yes, having an office to go to is awesome. :-)

A few suggestions:

1.  Mandatory sleep/quiet time are your friends.  The 4-yr-old can have quiet reading time while your 1-yr-old naps -- you can give them their own clock or timer and start with 15 minutes and work up from there.  Early bedtime is also good.

2.  When your DH finishes for the day, take an hour for yourself -- or if that's too close to dinner, then take off as soon as dinner is done.  And can your DH spell you for a few minutes at lunchtime or at some other break?  Maybe he can take 30 minutes with the kids at lunchtime while you go for a walk - or he can listen on the baby monitor during nap time so you can get out of the house.  He gets breaks from his job; it is entirely reasonable for you to need a break from yours.

3.  The key to both of these is that you take the time as your break.  You don't pick up or clean, you don't get going on dinner, you don't throw in a load of laundry.  You go curl up in your room or on your back deck or somewhere else where there is no other human being to intrude and do something that you consider relaxing, whatever that may be -- even just a few deep breaths and 15 minutes of quiet time (a/k/a mellow meditation) or stretching/yoga or digging in the garden or a walk or whatever.  And yes, you may need to train your DH to leave you alone during these times as well.  :-)

4.  Swap weekend mornings.  DH and I had a routine where I got to sleep in Saturday and he got to sleep in Sunday; once they got a little older and we were over the worst of the sleep deprivation, he started to use his time to go play a round of golf or something.  Figure out some routine time on the weekend where you have time just for you.

5.  Be very open with your DH about your need for alone time.  The work/caring for others will expand to fill every possible moment; you need to treat your own needs as just as important as the next load of laundry or getting dinner going.  The need for alone time is also something that people who are more extroverted can struggle to understand, so sometimes you have to put the dots very close together and be explicit about what you need. 
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

BAM

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 09:34:04 PM »
Lots of good ideas already.

For me, I found mornings to work better. Just seemed more quiet. When my oldest two were 2 and 3, we put a clock in their room and taught them to stay in there until 7:00 (they would wake at 6-6:30). At nap, they had to stay in there until 3:30 (started at 1). It wasn't perfect but did ensure that I got more quiet alone time than I would have otherwise.

Only my youngest naps now but the others do a mandatory 1 1/2 hour quiet time each day. They are allowed a blanket to be on (some in beds but with 7 kids at home still and only 3 bedrooms, one with a napper this can't be everyone), a few quiet toys and/or books. No talking, no getting up (unless sick), no loud play.
I started my oldest two on this at ages 1 and 2. At first, I put them on a blanket with a couple toys/books and timed them to see how long they would naturally stay there. That was our start time. We worked up from there adding 5-15 minutes every few days until they could do 1 1/2 hours. This also comes in handy in Dr offices - just bring a small receiving blanket and place it in an out of the way spot in the room.

I do get occasional days off but sometimes this is hard to fit in. Taking them is still worthwhile but I found the day to day much more important.

And, yes, let your DH know. Being a SHM is a tough job! You need breaks too. Your DH might have some other ideas specific to your situation.

bogart

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 09:35:26 PM »
Others have good advice.  If you are a morning person and depending on your kids' sleep patterns, you could maybe get up and out while they are still asleep, and enjoy a walk/bike/run whatever (or stay home and enjoy that, if that works for you).  If you're not a morning person (I'm not), maybe an evening out -- my DH and I each take one evening when we go out on our own and the other person is entirely responsible for the kid (we have just 1), full stop.  It's remarkably blissful, in my experience (ah, the joy of NOT being responsible for bedtime).  I've done everything from take myself to a nice supper to go for a swim at the local public pool.  I do try to stay out until the kid is fast asleep, because -- the joy of not being responsible for bedtime!

Is getting a job in an office an option?  I know that's a heretical suggestion in these parts and of course depending on what it would involve, might or might not improve alone time, but really, you could not have paid me enough to be a SAHM when mine was little.  I need away time (and he needed time with other kids, which daycare provided).  But I am fortunate to have pretty good earning power and to live in a place that has good childcare options available (and while I didn't count this as good fortune -- I wanted another, having just one to pay for childcare for obviously made doing so much less costly, also).

powersuitrecall

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 12:34:58 PM »
Oh, my.  I feel for you.  BTDT.  And yes, having an office to go to is awesome. :-)

A few suggestions:

1.  Mandatory sleep/quiet time are your friends.  The 4-yr-old can have quiet reading time while your 1-yr-old naps -- you can give them their own clock or timer and start with 15 minutes and work up from there.  Early bedtime is also good.

2.  When your DH finishes for the day, take an hour for yourself -- or if that's too close to dinner, then take off as soon as dinner is done.  And can your DH spell you for a few minutes at lunchtime or at some other break?  Maybe he can take 30 minutes with the kids at lunchtime while you go for a walk - or he can listen on the baby monitor during nap time so you can get out of the house.  He gets breaks from his job; it is entirely reasonable for you to need a break from yours.

3.  The key to both of these is that you take the time as your break.  You don't pick up or clean, you don't get going on dinner, you don't throw in a load of laundry.  You go curl up in your room or on your back deck or somewhere else where there is no other human being to intrude and do something that you consider relaxing, whatever that may be -- even just a few deep breaths and 15 minutes of quiet time (a/k/a mellow meditation) or stretching/yoga or digging in the garden or a walk or whatever.  And yes, you may need to train your DH to leave you alone during these times as well.  :-)

4.  Swap weekend mornings.  DH and I had a routine where I got to sleep in Saturday and he got to sleep in Sunday; once they got a little older and we were over the worst of the sleep deprivation, he started to use his time to go play a round of golf or something.  Figure out some routine time on the weekend where you have time just for you.

5.  Be very open with your DH about your need for alone time.  The work/caring for others will expand to fill every possible moment; you need to treat your own needs as just as important as the next load of laundry or getting dinner going.  The need for alone time is also something that people who are more extroverted can struggle to understand, so sometimes you have to put the dots very close together and be explicit about what you need.

Laura33 is on the mark here.

2 Introverts with 2 kids (6 & 4) here.  They don't nap, but they still get a 45 minute quiet time in their rooms alone while we do the same in ours.  It's a life saver.

Also, it gets better!  Now that our kids are a bit older, they are playing on their own more.  We can just get them started on something and they are good for an hour or so.

They are both in school (JK & Grade 1), and we find that at the end of their school day they actively seek out alone time.



Chesleygirl

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 01:47:49 PM »
I am an introvert also (a true introvert) and I don't work outside the home.

I have alone-time when they take naps and when my oldest is at school. I have a YMCA membership where I can get 2 hours of free child care per day, during which time, I may sit nearby read, or whatever I want to do. Check into one of these memberships.

Kapiira

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Re: Introverts with kids
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 03:34:06 PM »
Can your husband drop them off to the program?  Or pick them up and take them out to lunch?  It might stretch out your time at home enough to feel more substantial.  Another option is to get your husband to take the kids out in the evening.  If you're really getting worn down, consider finding a childcare program that will take them for one whole day a week.  Looking back at that time in my family's history, I wish I had done that.  We couldn't really afford it at the time, but that really challenging period only lasts  a few years and I think I would have been much happier.

I've been there and it was hard.  I hope you find a solution that helps.